The Draw Train Continues
Julian Nagelsmann for the first time this season rotated in some other players for really the first time this season. Manuel Neuer of course started in goal, but Noussair Mazraoui earned his first start of the season as Benjamin Pavard got a rest. Dayot Upamecano started along side Matthijs de Ligt with Alphonso Davies assumed his normal spot on the left.
Leon Goretzka earned his first start of the season alongside Joshua Kimmich. The attack comprised of Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala playing behind Serge Gnabry and Mathys Tel up top as Sadio Mané was rested for the first time this season.
Stuttgart came out with a lot of energy and pressed the Bayern effectively early on. As the game progressed Bayern started taking more and more control and the lead seemed inevitable. In the 36th minute they would get their lead as Davies dribbled down the left into the box and through his defender pulling it back for a waiting Tel who put it in 1-0.
After the half Stuttgart started to gain more momentum. They nearly scored in the 51st minute with an easy tap in but the goal was disallowed as Kimmich had his shirt pulled leading to the goal. However just two minutes later Stuttgart would get the leveler through Chris Führich 1-1.
Bayern however would respond almost immediately. Musiala received the ball in the box took a touch and hit it in the lower corner 2-1. From there both teams had a few chances to score but it was Stuttgart who had the better of them hitting the crossbar and having another ruled out for a foul.
Then in the 92nd minute de Ligt was late with a tackle in the box and a penalty was called which Serhou Guirassy stepped up and converted to make the match 2-2 and see Bayern draw for the third time in a row.
Once again Bayern had difficulties in front of goal. So far this season, these difficulties have manifested themselves in several different ways. For much of the last few games they struggled to put their shots anywhere that was not directly at the keeper
Today they had difficulties even creating those chances to begin with but largely were far more efficient with their shooting.
Unquestionably, part of this was due to the rotation. Mané and Sané started on the bench. Both players have been creating chances throughout much of the young season. While Gnabry has struggled a bit so far trying to find his way in his new position.
Tel played well but there are obviously going to be disconnects and mistakes from a player who is still 17. However, all of these things need to be ironed out and improved upon throughout the season. Nagelsmann needs to find a way for each of his offensive options to provide opportunities and improve their shooting.
After three successive Bundesliga draws, Bayern are facing pressure and adversity for the first time this season. The midweek Champions League victory helps to alleviate that to a degree, but there’s no question that they will be under a lot of pressure this week.
Barca will provide a real challenge on Tuesday. Lewandowski will be looking for blood and mostly likely so will the rest of the Catalan side. Then they’ll make the short trip to Augsburg the following Saturday for a match that has proved difficult in recent years.
If Bayern come away with two victories in these matches, especially decisive victories, people will likely move on and all will be well. However, even one draw or loss will just increase the pressure on them. Jobs will be put in question. Players will face a lot of scrutiny.
This seemed to be a hot word after the match. And it’s not hard to see why. You could feel from the start that Bayern were playing with an eye on their Tuesday Champions League matchup.
These slips resulted in both goals for Stuttgart on the day and nearly lead to at least two others. Mental lapses are part of sports. They are nearly impossible to avoid and this was their first test of the season. One they failed.
There will be no such excuses come Tuesday. The schedule following the trip to Augsburg will see another couple of challenges as Leverkusen and Dortmund are on the horizon. Getting things back on track quickly is of paramount importance.